4-star commit Joyner remains solid with WSU

WHEN AUSTIN JOYNER verbally committed to Washington State, he said he would sign with Wazzu as long as no major changes occurred to the staff. A little over a week ago, his area recruiter Eric Russell was let go by head man Mike Leach. So where do things stand between Joyner and the Cougs? Have he and the WSU coaches talked recently? The in-state product spoke with CF.C about that and more.

Marysville-Pilchuck’s Joyner has been verbally committed to the Cougs since April. And although Russell was let go, the four-star prospect said he’s rock solid on becoming a Cougar on LOI Day in February.

“The staff has reached out to me,” Joyner said. “I spoke with them about four days ago actually. They just told me that they still really want me to come play for them and Coach Russell being gone doesn’t affect my offer at all.”

Joyner is a record-setting prep running back, but WSU has always recruited him at cornerback, and that's the position Joyner sees himself playing at the next level. He added that Russell’s dismissal didn't affect his commitment level in the slightest.

“It wasn’t that big for me,” Joyner said. “If the head coach was fired or the defensive coordinator, then it would affect me a lot more. This hasn’t affected me too much. I’m still solid with WSU.”

ALTHOUGH JOYNER SAID he’s still fully committed to Washington State, he plans on still going on other official visits. In addition to his Pullman official, set for Jan. 23, he’s also planning to trip to Washington and Boise State in December.

The WSU staff is aware of his official visit plans.

“I let the coaches (at WSU) know and they said they don’t know why I want to take visits, but for me it’s about having a backup plan,” Joyner said. “They don’t think I should be taking visits, but the reality of it is that you never know what can happen with coaching changes.

“Something can happen and I can’t just end up going somewhere else at the last minute. I need to be prepared in case something happens with WSU. I’m still planning on going there. As long as everything stays the same for the most part, then that’s where I’ll be playing.”

JOYNER ADDED THAT he’s built a good relationship with the coaches at UW.

“I like the coaches a lot over at UW,” Joyner said. “They stand out to me really. I’ve been talking with Coach Petersen and he’s been telling me that they really want me and that they really need me.”

At the same time, Joyner said WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske has done a solid job of staying in contact and reaching out. "We've got a good relationship going right now," Joyner said. "I spoke with him last week. He's been telling me the same stuff. He's excited for me to go play for him." Joyner, who checks in at 5-11, 185-pounds, was being recruiting by most as an athlete/running back but after he verballed to WSU and made his position preference firmly known, most schools then said they would recruit him as a corner.

“The injury rate is a big thing for me,” Joyner said. “Running backs are the most injured players. I’m looking at things long term and I think corner is a lot better on my body.”

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